Shehadeh hits 1K mark in thrilling SE win
By Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Sep 24, 2021
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Durant, Okla. - Grace Shehadeh posted 22 digs and reached the 1,000-dig mark for her career on her way to helping Southeastern to a 3-2 win in a slugfest over Southern Nazarene on Thursday night in the Battle of the Storms in Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium.

The win lifts the Savage Storm to 5-5 overall on the year and 2-1 in Great American Conference play with SE next set to host rival East Central on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

The win also snaps a six-match losing streak against the Crimson Storm and moves SE to 4-1 in its last five matches overall.

Shehadeh came into the night needing 22 digs to reach 1,000 for her career, and after a slow start she would pick up the pace with 11 digs in the fourth set. She would need one to hit the mark in the fifth set, but due to the Storm collecting four service aces and hitting .583 in the set that one final dig would not come until the second to last point in the match, leaving her with exactly 1,000 career digs after Thursday night.

The defense was busy all night with Shehadeh's 22 digs leading the way while McKenzie Turkoly added 13, with Skylor Lewis at nine and Micah Stiggers at eight.

Things were just as hopping at the net where Caroline Griffith finished with seven blocks in the match, while Lewis, Ruthie Forson, Jessie Steele, and Jadyn James each had two.

The offense would rally from a slow start and four players would end up reaching double-digit kills, led by Lewis who posted 14, while Steele was right behind with 13.

Forson would turn in the front half of a double-double with 11 kills, while Griffith would close the match with 10.

Forson would finish off that double-double with 42 assists in the match and would add a match-high four service aces, including three-straight in the deciding fifth set.

Southeastern was slow out of the gate as SNU scored the first three points and would run out to an 11-4 lead early. The Storm would rally to close the gap to four points, but that was as close as it would get as Southern Nazarene would pull away for the 25-18 win in the first set.

SE responded in set two and the teams battled back-and-forth, slugging it out to a 16-16 tie. The Savage Storm would take advantage of a SNU error to get he serve back and close out the set with nine of the final 10 points to win the set 25-17 and tie the match up at 1-1. Lewis would turn the offense on with five kills in the set, while Shehadeh and Turkoly would pick up five digs apiece.

The third set was another back-and-forth affair as Lewis, Forson, and Steele each had four kills and the teams would battle to a 20-20 tie. A kill by Griffith and back-to-back Forson kills would push the lead to 23-20 and the Storm would survive with a 25-23 win in the set to take a 2-1 lead.

SNU would find its answer in the fourth set, pushing its lead to as many as eight points before SE put together furious rally, including three-straight Lewis kills as part of a four-straight kill run to close the gap, but the Crimson Storm would ultimately take the set 25-22 to even the match at 2-2.

Southeastern came out hot in the fifth set, scoring the first three points and jumping ahead 6-1 after a Steele kill. SNU would close the gap to 9-5 before Forson put together a serving clinic with three-straight aces to move the score to 12-5 and the Storm would hold on for the 15-9 win in the deciding set.